Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

April 27, 2013

Recognizing South Georgia youths

VALDOSTA — “The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they alone knew everything and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for girls, they are forward, immodest and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress.”

This comment sounds like something that could be found on dozens of Internet message boards, or emailed to this paper’s Rant & Rave, or heard anywhere, at any time, from any number of people reflecting on today’s youth.

But the quote has long been attributed to an ancient Greek philosopher from many centuries ago. And even if someone were to prove that no ancient Greek ever uttered such words, well, the quote has been around for decades which still proves the timeless quality of its point.

That point?

Older generations have always regarded younger generations with a certain amount of contempt. Things were always better in later generations’ youth. Fifty years from now, some of today’s youths will say similar things about the youths of 2063. Give it time. It will happen, even if today’s elder generations won’t be around to see it.

Instead of focusing on the immortal generation gap, we should pay attention in coming weeks to all of the good our area youths do to prepare themselves for the world and help their communities.

In coming weeks, thousands of young people will graduate from South Georgia schools. Within the next month, hundreds of area youths will receive accolades for numerous accomplishments at school, in their churches, in their neighborhoods. Area youth will participate in activities such as Relay for Life, and benefit runs, and numerous other charitable activities.

South Georgia youths make a positive impact on our community.

Sadly, harping on “kids these days” has always been in fashion, but older generations would do well to remember that they, too, were once such kids.

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